Wise Advice From a Vocations Director

October 2006

Fr. James E. Mason is a priest in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is Vice Chancellor of the Diocese and Director of Vocations. In an article in Homiletic & Pastoral Review (May), he says it's a "rare seminary or diocese that will recognize the vice...[of] effeminacy." St. Thomas Aquinas said that effeminacy is the vice of delicacy and is opposed to perseverance.

Says Fr. Mason: "Many bishops, seminary faculty and priests...suffer under this vice and are therefore unwilling or unable to recognize it as a vice and address it.... Does the seminary deal with a seminarian that sways when he walks, who has limp wrists, who acts like a drama queen or who lisps? It must."

Says Fr. Mason: "This is not just distracting to other men but I know my sisters will roll their eyes when a Liberace-like priest celebrates himself while celebrating the Mass.... This may be one of the reasons why the church has a difficult time attracting men to Mass...."

Fr. Mason says, "I remember in my first year of seminary how I was shocked when I came across an ordained cleric in the seminary who was wearing a gold ankle bracelet and matching gold earring."

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New Oxford Notes: October 2006

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